November 2022 – Help America Hear Scholarship History

November 2022

Help America Hear 

Scholarship History


The idea for a scholarship was conceived  in 2011 to add an educational component to Foundation for Sight & Sound’s mission for vision and hearing- related programs.

Help America Hear Inc. continued the scholarship starting with the 2019-20 school year, providing scholarship opportunities exclusively to High School seniors with hearing loss.

During the course of setting up the parameters & qualifications for the scholarship, the Foundation began for students with hearing loss. By the second year categories were formed for students with low vision, students who were hard of hearing and a student who was blind. In addition, three regions were created- Long Island & Metro NY specific, as well as a national presence.

In our first year, we awarded two students with a financial award of $500 each. Once we had the three regions,  each with three categories, there was  a total of nine scholarship opportunities at $500 each. After evaluating the effectiveness of our offerings, in the school year starting 2016-17, we only offered the scholarship on a national level to vision & hearing impaired and a blind student, giving each winner $1000. 

In 2019, with the transformation of Foundation for Sight & Sound into  a new organization, Help America Hear, with more funds being raised, we were able to provide two students with $1,000  each plus the Resound hearing aids. In the 2020/21 school year, Help America Hear received a matching grant whereas we were able to provide five students with a financial award of $2,000 each!

For the 2021/22 school year, Help America Hear provided  ten students with a $2000  financial award and five additional students received only hearing aids.*

*Since the rules dictate age of hearing aids determine whether or not an award-winning student will receive hearing aids, based on the number of students who do not qualify for the devices, the next level of students who ‘fit’ the qualifications for the devices will receive them. 


The Help America Hear scholarship is open nationally to high school seniors who have a hearing loss, which requires the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants in their daily life. 


The purpose of this scholarship is to help students with hearing loss reach their full potential by giving them the gift of sound. This will further allow the students to build confidence and self-esteem as they prepare for college or vocational school.

How it Works

The recipient of this scholarship will be selected by an independent group of judges to be determined by Help America Hear Inc., a 501c3 Not for Profit Corporation. The scholarship will award not less than five but no more than ten** students per school year, currently wearing hearing aids. Devices currently worn that are three years old or less will only receive a financial award. Cochlear Implant users are also eligible but will only receive the financial award.

Help America Hear Scholarship- cont’d (Page 2)

The scholarship recipients will receive two state-of-the-art ReSound** Hearing Aids which best fit his/her hearing loss, plus a financial award** towards the student’s college or vocational school of choice.

** the amount of the financial award and hearing aid award depends on availability of product and monetary availability.

Goals for the Help America Hear Scholarship  

As with any initiative, raising funds and having guaranteed product is key to success. Continued efforts to build partnerships with hearing health care professionals and manufacturers is the key to success of this program. Our future goals are to have the ability to provide  as many high school seniors as possible with hearing loss with an adequate financial  and hearing aid award.

Help America Hear is confident with donations and grants from personal, private, and corporate  Foundations  we will achieve  enough financial  stability and support to “raise the bar.”

Chronological Timeline of Scholarship Awards

2011-12 School Year  -7 Submissions 

Award Recipients: $500 each

Zoey Kress NJ

Dylan Veik. IA

2012-13 School Year –   5 Submissions 

(This  was the start of three separate scholarships  for vision & hearing plus a blind student. Each category awarded $500.)

Award Recipient: $500.

Jordyn Fruth AZ

2013-14 School Year  – 1 submission for Metro NY and 14 Submissions Nationally 

(Started three regions of scholarship opportunities – Long Island, Metro NY & Nationwide specific providing $500 for each area  in three categories, blind, vision & hearing impaired. There was limited interest.)

Award Recipients: $500.

Travis Crawford  Bronx /NY Metro  

Megan Rich GA


2014-15 School Year – 21 National Submissions  1 Metro Submission

Award Recipients: $500.

Samantha O’Grady  Metro NY 

Matthew Adams  LA National scholarship 


2015-16 School Year   – 15 National Submissions 

Award Recipient: $500.

India Hoover  VT


2016 -17 School Year –  47 submissions 

Award Recipient: $1000.

Johanna Hrdlicka  WI

*There were also winners in the Low Vision and/or Blind Student scholarship categories,  each receiving $1,000. 

2017-18 School Year  – 33 Submissions 

Award Recipients: $1000.

Ryan Witt KY

*There were also winners in the Low Vision and/or Blind Student scholarship categories,  each receiving $1,000. 


2018-19 School Year  – 27 Submissions 

Award Recipients: $1000.

Ryan Bell CT

Hannah Springer NE

*There were also winners in the Low Vision and/or Blind Student scholarship categories,  each receiving $1,000. 


[Creation of Help America Hear, Inc.]

2019-20 School Year  –   27 Submissions 

Award Recipients: $1000.

Emma Dylan IN

Nicholas Spacht GA

2020-21 School Year  – 24 Submissions 

(Help America Hear received a $5,000  grant which our Board of Directors agreed to match. Ten  students were selected .)

Award Recipients: $1000.

Chloe Avery AR

Kristen Corb  VA

Lexi Marx WI

Abigail Mendoza IL

Angeli Blancaflor CA

Callahan Lutz NC

Meagan Forck MO

Morgan Botts essay KS

Sophia Mantia  MO

Walker Christian SC


2021-22 School Year  –  63 Submissions 

(Help America Hear’s Board of Directors agreed to  give a total of $20,000 towards  the scholarship program Ten students received $2,000 each) 

Award Recipients: $2000.

Anna Nack VA

Mallory Bell FL 

Noah Ziegler NE 

Sophia Lin Kent WA 

Ian Blechacz WI 

Nicholas Pannzarino NY 

Callie Welty TX 

Mackenzie Shankle WI 

Charles Brady  OK 

Jacob Shanahan OH  

**In addition, the following  five individuals received hearing aids only, as replacements for those who did not qualify for them.

Ashton Turkally  CO 

Noah Ramos NY 

Jadyn Wells  TX 

Brandon Ivaroni NY 

Michael Ivaroni NY